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11-??-00 - Full Theme Ahead!

I love being employment-free.  I don't know what day it is, and it doesn't even matter!

So, are we going to see the Who Moved My Cheese? update today?  Of course not, silly.  But this time, I actually have a good reason for not having it ready, and it has to do with the theme for next week.

First of all, thanks to everyone who sent in Theme Week ideas.  There were lots of great ideas and I look forward to exploiting all of them for my personal gain someday.  One in particular caught my eye, sent in by Ryan Sharpe, who, along with a number of good suggestions, wrote:

Maybe a recursive theme week, one where you compare how you feel about the other theme weeks you've written.

After I looked up "recursive", I thought about his suggestion. And then it hit me, like a jolt, like the kind of jolt you get when you're sitting in a coffee shop and you suddenly realize you've been staring absent-mindedly at an attractive woman for about five straight minutes, and you also suddenly realize the huge, muscular, dangerous-looking guy she is holding hands with is staring at you, glowering.

Ryan's suggestion made me realize that I've had five Theme Weeks up to this point, and after checking a calendar, I saw there would in fact be five weekdays next week!  Perfect!

Each day, I'll do a little update page for each of the previous Theme Weeks, in the order they appeared on this site.  And I think it'll go a little something... like this:

Monday:  Women's Week 

Another installment of Pencil Me In..., my guide to dating for female temps.  Once again, I'll be scouring the online personals for possible suitors, letting you know just what sort of hot, hunky guys (or gals, depending on your preference) might be waiting for you at your next job.

Tuesday: Non-Temping Week

Instead of reading some mindless drivel about temping, we'll read some mindless drivel about something other than temping.  Possible topics:  What up wit airline food?  Or:  What up wit Florida?  Or maybe:  What up wit da plight of da Amazonian Alligator?  Word!

Wednesday:  Cheese Week

At last, the oft-promised, never-delivered follow-up to Cheese Week.  This time, I almost totally mean it!  Maybe!

Thursday:  Skillz Week

Five more skillz every temp should know!  Like how to use two sentences to describe something when you really only need one!

Friday:  Fitness Week

More tips for staying healthy and fit while on the job, accompanied by easy-to-mock... er, easy-to-follow diagrams.  Feel the burn!  

So, starting Monday we'll have Theme Week Redux!  It'll be fun, exciting, informative, and most of all, repetitive!  If you miss this one, folks... well, I guess you can always read it later in the archives.  Thanks again to Ryan for the idea, and for saving me from actually having to think up new concepts and come up with new material.  Also, if it sucks, I'll have someone to blame!  Ryan, you da man!



11-16-00 - Sweet Themes

This afternoon, as I paced the halls here at the Not My Desk corporate offices, I noticed again that the staff seemed a bit glum.  They've been coming in late, sitting listlessly at their desks, staring blankly at their computer screens, and drinking vodka straight from the bottle.  They haven't even had the energy to openly mock me, which always tells me something is wrong.  I'd fired half of them (and promoted the other half) before realizing what the problem was.  It's been a hell of a long time since we've had a Theme Week, so we're gonna have one next week!

Of course, we have no idea what it's going to be.  Yet.

If you'd like to check out previous theme weeks, check out the theme page.

And, hey, if you have any suggestions for what next the next theme should be, e-mail me.

Tomorrow, at long last, the Who Moved My Cheese? update I've been promising.  Really.  I swear.




11-15-00 - In the Beginning

You know, I've been getting a lot of e-mails about my site lately, and the question most people ask me is:  "Why have you committed yourself to the painstaking research and in-depth scrutiny it takes to produce a temping website?"  That's a good question, and the answer is fairly complicated:  "I haven't."  Huh.  That wasn't complicated at all.

I haven't done any research, frankly, and I'm not even sure what "in-depth scrutiny" means, except that it's what my word processor's thesaurus came up with as an alternative to "painstaking research."  And, since I'm being so honest here, I'll just go ahead and tell you that no one has ever even asked me that question anyway.  I mean, why would they?  Even a cursory glance around here will tell you I'm just talking out of my ass.

Also, truth be told, I haven't been getting a lot of e-mail about my website, either.

In fact, I don't even have a website.

Oh, wait, I do.  Damn.  I was hoping I could turn in early tonight.

So, while I haven't done any research, I have spent a great deal of time thinking about my own experiences as a temp, about what I've learned since I began, about where I'll go from here, and about how people can actually eat Spam. Personally, I'd rather eat a frozen Brazilian soccer team than Spam.

I just feel there's a lot of faulty information out there for temps.  Sure, there are a lot of books written on the subject of temping, and since becoming a temp, I have read nearly all of them, and agreed with nearly none of them.  Let me put it this way:  my grasp of the language is insufficient to adequately express the horror I felt as I flipped through the first book about temping I ever saw.  I won't name the book because I don't wish to besmirch the reputation of the forked-tongued master of deception who scrawled his blasphemous lies upon that blackened scroll of doom, but I will say it was one of the greater shocks of my life. 

Actually, I'll go ahead and name the book, since I'm going to review it one of these days:  it was The Temp Survival Guide, written by Brian Hassett.

I won't get into the details now, but this book was all sunshine and smiles and rah-rah go temps! stuff.  At the time, I wasn't experiencing a whole hell of a lot of sunshine and smiles.  What this book made out temping to be was nothing at all like what temping was.  If this book had offered to take me to the Grand Canyon, I had gotten left in LaGuardia Airport. If it had promised me Calvin & Hobbes, I had been given Bazooka Joe.

Soon after, I read another book, called Just a Temp, by Kevin D. Henson, and this one made temping out to be the new slave trade. It was a dreary, somber, bitter book, written by someone who obviously had some "issues" with the office environment. This was Dilbert as written by Dante. This was Calvin & Hobbes as written by... oh, Dante, I guess.

There were passages about the dehumanization of temps, of being "forced" to work humiliating and demeaning tasks, of people turning into a drones the moment they were seated in front of a computer screen.  I'm not saying I disagree with any of this, mind you, but it was so… depressing.  I mean, try have a sense of humor about it at least.  It's not that bad.  Sure, every now and then you will have a day that just beats the crap out of you, and you will leave the office feeling as though everyone you know and love has signed a statement saying that they'd rather not see you again and that you have terrible breath. But that's not reason to get all depressed!  Um, is it?  Rah-rah go temps!

The last straw was the third book I read, called The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, by Oliver Sacks.  And it contained no mention of temping at all!  Can you believe it?  Just a story about some weirdo who tried to put his wife on his head.

Well, that settled it!  I was gonna create a temping website!  The way I saw it, I really had no choice. I felt it was my duty, my obligation, my responsibility to others out there who may be considering temping as a career, as I did in my carefree days before the gathering storm. And I hoped to reach others as well, those temps already out there in the squall, to signal to them, perhaps with only a dim flicker of light, that they were not alone.

I also understand chicks dig guys with websites.



11-14-00 - Bags

I hit the grocery store bright and early Monday morning.  Since I've got my days free now, I figure the stuff that takes me hours on the weekends can be accomplished in half the time due to everyone else being at work.

I forgot about the old people, though.

I hate shopping for groceries enough as it is, because I'm not one of those people who enjoy this whole "eating" craze that has swept the globe over the past 3.1 billion years.  Eating is just a big pain in the ass, as far as I'm concerned.  I don't enjoy it, it's just something I do to stop being hungry.  I never cook, because by the time I acknowledge my hunger, I'm weak from it, and don't have time to prepare a well-balanced meal.  I just need to cram some sort of edible matter down my gullet before I pass out.

So, grocery shopping isn't a big deal for me.  I just look for cheap food that's easy to prepare, and try to get out of the store as soon as possible.

The elderly were having none of it, though.  They clogged the aisles, their nearly-empty shopping carts skewed at impassable angles, their bodies positioned in front of the one or two items I actually wanted.

You can't expect to just shoulder past an elderly shopper with a simple "Excuse me", either.  They need to see exactly WHO YOU ARE before they get out of your way. Normal people just move, or maybe glance at you with a quick turn of the head before moving.  Not old people. They need to turn not just their heads but their entire bodies (and more often than not, their shopping carts, too) to see just who is making such a request of them.  An impossibly slow, shuffling-in-place, 180-degree turn in your direction, to discover: Hey!  A complete stranger!  Asking them to move so he can get to the baloney Lunchables.

If I'm being mean to the elderly, it's only because I envy them.  They way I see it, there are only two real times in your life when you get to be both annoying and insane and have people tolerate it.  First, when you're a small child, but at that point you're too busy being annoying and insane to be able to properly appreciate your position.  The second time is when you're old.  Man, I can't wait to be old.  I'm gonna be the craziest, most annoying old guy that's ever shambled down an aisle in a bathrobe.

Gonna have coupons, too.  Lots of 'em.  All expired.

Anyway, in my rush to get out of there, I came home with cereal but no milk, pasta but no sauce, E-Z Cheez but no crackers, and smoked salmon tartare but no crème fraîche.

Luckily, there's a KFC around the corner.

Hey, I updated my Win-A-Car page today, finally.  Thanks to everyone who has been sending in links to free car give-aways and contests that they find on the internet.  I still have a few piled up in my in-box, just need to clear out some time to enter them all.  Click on the stolen car graphic to see the page (meaning that I stole the graphic of the car, not that the graphic is of a stolen car.  As far as I know).




11-13-00 - Cheap Executive


A new position has been added to the Jobs section of the Field Guide today!!  Can you believe it??

Head on over and check out the latest:  The Executive Assistant!!!!

Okay, it's not really as exciting as I'm making it out to be.  But after doing some websurfing today, it seems that by adding a lot of gratuitous punctuation, you can make almost anything seem really exciting!!!!

Don't you agree??????



11-12-00 - Double Vision

Hi.  If you have a few minutes, check out two new additions to Vision of the Future.


Pick a pic and click.

(Please note, both of those pages contain a fair amount of pictures, and may take some time to finish loading.)



11-11-00 - Downtime

Man, that seemed like a long cigarette break.  Hey.  What's that light blinking on my phone?  Oh... shit.

"Um, hello?  Hi.  I'm sorry, have you been holding long?  A week?  Dreadfully sorry, I'll connect you now."

Yeah, no updates for a whole week, and I feel horribly guilty.  Horribly, horribly guilty.

To make up for my laziness, I now pledge to you that I shall sit on my ass all weekend playing video games.

"Great, but what do I get out of this?" some of you greedy, selfish bastards might be wondering.  Well, how about a Double-Vision Sunday, meaning two new installments of Vision of the Future, a feature I have been neglecting almost as much as my friends, family members, and personal hygiene.

If you're not familiar with VOTF, click here and get up to speed.

A quick teaser from tomorrow's first installment:

Player 1 goes first, and each turn lasts until the player's Winky is eliminated.

Intrigued by the mention of a Winky?  Of course you are.  Well, tune in on Sunday to to share my Vision.

(Quick note: Happy Birthday, Mom!  I love you!  Also, Happy Veterans' Day to um... Veterans, I guess!  I love you!  I guess!)

Anyhoo, I've been out of work for two weeks now, voluntarily.  I have to say, unemployment agrees with me.  It's easy as hell!  No work.  No getting up early.  No need to shave, or wear pants.  I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.

The only problem is that it can get a little bit boring, and with no cash coming in, I can't just up and go to the zoo or the movies or a strip-club or Australia when I'm looking for some fun, as these things get a little expensive.  Especially the zoo.  Those baboons are cute, but even if you manage to sneak one home, they cost a lot to feed.  Also, they tend to rip open your belly with their razor-sharp fangs.  And talk about noisy!

So, the challenge lies in coming up with fun and exciting activities that: a) don't drain the bank account, and b) don't involve perturbed zoo officials kicking in your door.

I know what you're thinking:  "Why don't you create a wacky, highly-exaggerated, and completely fictitious list of such activities?"  And that's just what I was thinking!

The first activity is something I like to call BOOZEFOUND.  Invent new alcoholic beverages from your dwindling supplies of booze by following the steps listed below.

1) Grab a few bottles at random.

2) Mix them in a large glass or bowl.

3) Chug!  Chug!  Chug!

4) Did you throw up more than once?

5) Try to break your own record!

Not much of a drinker?  Well, here's a game everyone can play. It's called NAPSTER. It goes like this:

1) Take a nap.

2) Figure out how long were you asleep.

3) Try to break your own record!

A great one I thought up the other day after lunch, called GOING TO THE BATHROOM:  

1) Go to the bathroom!

2) See what happens!

3) Report back to me!

NIGHTWATCH is fun.  Try this:

1) Get a clock.

2) Try to do nothing but watch the hands go around in circles.

3) While you're sitting there, notice how your life slowly wastes away.  

4) Observe how time slips by, uncaring, unfeeling, unstoppable.

5) Seconds, minutes, and hours are lost, never to be reclaimed again.

6) Realize that your inevitable death, already quite close, is now closer than ever.

7) Try to break your own record!

A really exciting one I've been playing is called BILLFOLD:

1) Stop paying your cable, phone, gas, electric, and internet service provider bills simultaneously!  

2) See which gets cut off fi


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All material © 2000 by Christopher Livingston.  Yeah.  That'll hold up in court.